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Updated August 17, 2012, 4:08 pm betterhomesgardens
Turn your background into a productive vegetable garden.
As long as you have a spot that receives at least five hours of sun a day, creating a mini-farm isn’t that difficult. Most vegetables only require as much care as annuals or perennials and a plot doesn’t need much space. In fact, you can keep the family well fed with just 10 square metres of garden! Here’s our pick of the best veggies to plant now and tips for a bountiful harvest.
Raised garden beds have distinct advantages over traditional ground beds – you don’t have to dig into or improve existing soil and you can tend the beds without too much bending. Timber is the easiest material to construct a raised bed from and, thanks to the simple and durable kits available, you don’t need to be a tradie to knock one up. In fact, you can build a bed in 10 minutes with just a tape measure and a hammer!Gather Your Supplies
STEP 1 If required, mark out and level the area where the bed will be positioned. Although not essential, you can remove the grass from the area, too.
STEP 2 Lay out your kit, checking all parts are supplied. Position pieces around the area where the bed will be assembled. Stand 1 piece and then interlock the next part – starting with a corner is easiest. Work your way around until all pieces are in place and aligned. Check it is square by measuring the diagonals across the bed (from front left to rear right and vice versa): the measurements will be equal if the frame is square, adjust as required. Longer kits will come supplied with crossbars. Don’t forget to install them, as they will stop the sides from bowing out. Once finished, simply hammer the pins through the predrilled holes.
STEP 3 Fill your new bed with a quality imported soil. If you decide to use an organic mix, just remember it won’t contain fertilisers or soil-wetting additives, so you’ll need to blend in your desired extras. Rake soil to level and lightly tamp down. Add any stakes or climbing supports that are needed.
STEP 4 Gently plant your seedlings or sow your seeds, paying close attention to the recommended spacings. Water them in well with a solution of seaweed tonic, such as Yates Nature’s Way Seaweed Booster.
STEP 5 Spread mulch around seedlings and between rows of sown seeds. Be careful not to push it up against the seedlings or cover the seeds over. Water gently to lock the mulch in place and your new bed is complete.